*Update- What I’m up to

So I’ve been really busy. Some of the things I’ve been doing.

I’ve just started a part-time college course with University College Cork- It’s called Mental Health in the Community. It’s really interesting so far, and I think it will be really useful in helping me advocate for myself and other service users. It’s extremely academic and there’s lots of coursework and my brain hasn’t been challenged in so long. Fingers crossed it still works.

Lots of walking. I’m walking between 30km and 45km every week. I’ve never walked so much! I’m getting to experience the best of Donegal beaches, and some beautiful walks. I’ll write a post soon with some of my favorite walks around Donegal.

I’m also doing a 6 weeks course with Aware in Letterkenny called Lifeskills. It’s extremely useful and I’d really recommend it. More info on www.aware.ie There’s also an online version which is definitely worth checking out if there’s no workshop in your area.

I’ve started Chi Gong, and I really love it. I’ve been doing a LOT of mindfulness over the past few months but I’m finding absolutely no benefit from it. My mind is just far too busy. But doing the movements of Chi Gong with the meditation and mindfulness really helps. It doesn’t stop the millions of thoughts that are buzzing around my head, but it does slow them down a tiny bit which is better than nothing.

Weekly Acupuncture sessions are an important part of my week. I have found an amazing Acupuncturist and I swear I really believe that she is helping keep me out of hospital. She is amazing, and I’d really recommend trying Acupuncture with a good Acupuncturist. I never had any belief in complementary therapies but I would go so far as to say that it has kept me alive.

I’m also working on two brand new websites. One for a community magazine I’m involved with, and the second a website on the benefits of writing and keeping a journal. (Watch this space)

 

 

 

 

 

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The fight for my life

About 18 months ago I got sick. Very sick. I ended up in hospital, and was to stay there for almost nine months. I was embarrassed and ashamed and felt that I couldn’t tell anyone where I was. I told some people I was on holidays, others that I was away for work. But the truth was that I was on a psychiatric ward fighting for my life. I say fighting because that’s what I felt I was doing.

It all happened rather quickly. One minute I was bridesmaid at my sister’s wedding and the next thing I was inpatient on an acute psychiatric ward. It all happened so fast and in a number of weeks I unravelled in spectacular style.

At first I was afraid. I was so afraid of the thoughts that were going on in my head that I didn’t tell anyone. I kept it to myself. I’m very lucky and have great friends and family but couldn’t find the words to tell them how I was feeling so as far as they were concerned I was fine. But I wasn’t. I was far from fine and was in such a bad place that I just couldn’t find the words to explain how I was feeling. I believed that I would be better off dead and that my friends and family would be better off without me. Continue reading “The fight for my life”

Challenging some misconceptions of self harm

Challenging some misconceptions about self harm. An important article.

Fake Tan and Foundation

Yesterday I read an article on the Journal.ie which kinda annoyed me. In fact it really annoyed me. It was about self harm and in my opinion added to the already existing stigma associated with self harm and those who use it as a coping mechanism.

It talked a lot about the fear mental health professionals have about growing numbers of people self harming, teenagers using the internet to compare self harm methods and injuries, and talked about methods of self harm in a graphic nature without any trigger warnings ( which the Samaritan guidelines recommend to do)

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My new website- www.unwindyourmind.ie

Thanks for everyone who still continues to check out this blog.

I still get a lot of traffic here- which is great, but seeing as I have a much nicer website over on www.unwindyourmind.ie it would be fantastic if you could check it out instead.

You can subscribe to receive emails every time I post-and check out the facebook and twitter pages.

Looking forward to seeing you over on www.unwindyourmind.ie

Young leaders nomination

So recently I’ve been nominated for a Young Leaders award for my work as a mental health advocate, and for my work here at Unwind Your Mind.

Usually things like this make me feel pretty uncomfortable but I have to say it’s a great feeling and I feel very humbled by it.

You can read an interview I did with the guys at o2

Check it out here